Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

After a weekend spent pondering my navel in anticipation of a presentation yesterday, I've come up with a different label for what we do. I've been a little bothered with "New" Media from about 15 minutes after the jump. Berkman Center has its own ID set, and really like Legacy Media and Participatory Media (I'll drop my own B&B [boards and blogs] for that one), but Web-Native doesn't do it for me.

I'm settling on Net Media, and more posts to come on that. Among the reasons to be posted, what comes after New Media. New and Improved Media? Sort of the same end English and other liberal arts got into with Modern and Post-Modern. Post-Post-Modern? Right Now Modern?

Anyway, something I forgot in the talk about how JOUR 101 is different in a Net Media world was this example. One of my three points was it really still is about the basics, but we have new skills to replace old skills. If you can't write clear prose, do good sourcing, etc., doesn't matter if you're new, old, modern, what -- you won't do good journalism.

As I violate that first point -- to the point. When many of us came up, you had to learn how to count characters for headlines. A fine skill. I was great at it. Figuring out that synonym for what you want to say in the last nine characters was an art. However, desktop publishing solves that. That doesn't mean a similar art doesn't exist today -- tagging your stories requires the same thoughtfulness about what is the essense of this story in four or five words or key terms.

And some days, particularly with the front-end editor we use for ArkansasRazorbacks.com, you better still count your characters in the headline. Or you get the dreaded elipsis.

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